New commercial jet is getting closer to being available to UAE airlines
WATCH: The Boeing 777X is literally coming together
There's plenty of excitement in aviation circles around the Boeing 777X, which has been labelled "the world's largest and most efficient twin-engine jet".
And the aircraft, for which Emirates and Etihad both have orders placed, has moved another step closer to coming into service having reached a major production milestone.
The three main fuselage sections of the first 777X that will take to the skies have been connected together at the Boeing facility in Everett, Washington in what is known as a "final body join".
The aircraft will undergo a vigorous test programme in 2019 and is scheduled for delivery in 2020.
In the video below you can see the first foldable wing tips which enable an extended span of 7 metres and will help to maximise fuel efficiency.
"The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system," said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X.
"With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development programme sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected."
The first static test 777X was completed in September ahead of a year of testing to verify its design strength and safety.
The key features of the 777X are larger windows, a wider cabin and new lighting – all inspired by the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing says the 777X will have 12 per cent lower fuel consumption and 10 per cent lower operating costs than its competition.
Dubai carrier Emirates is the world's largest operator of Boing 777 aircraft with 147 in its fleet and 196 on order.